Operation Big Switch , the exchange of remaining prisoners of war, commenced in early August 1953, and lasted into December. 75,823 Communist fighters (70,183 North Koreans, 5,640 Chinese) were returned to their homelands. 12,773 . soldiers (7,862 South Koreans, 3,597 Americans, and 946 British) were sent back south across the armistice line. Over 22,000 Communist soldiers, the majority of whom were former Republic of China soldiers who fought against the Communists in the Chinese Civil War , refused repatriation.  Similarly, one Briton and 23 American soldiers (along with 327 South Koreans) also refused to be returned to their homelands. Two, Corporal Claude Batchelor and Corporal Edward Dickenson , changed their minds before the 90-day window expired. Both were court-martialed and sentenced to prison terms, with Batchelor serving 4½ years and Dickenson 3½.